March 1, 2023
Before there was a need for words like food security, Indigenous peoples stewarded the land through cultural foodways as a means of sustenance in harmony with the natural world. According to global definitions, food security exists "when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life." In juxtaposition, Native Food Security exists when American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, at all times, have access to an abundance of culturally relevant foods to meet their dietary needs and preferences for a healthy tribal community.The difference between food security and Native Food Security is cultural. Food security, in general, focuses on the needs of individuals or individual households. Native Food Security concerns both the physical and spiritual nourishment of the family, household, tribe, clan, community, place, land, and the foods themselves. A healthy tribal community fosters intergenerational responsibility through reciprocal relationships with all relations.